Rap artists, girls take heart stage at Grammys


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rap artists and girls have each felt shunned by the Grammy Awards lately. However this yr, they took heart stage.

Infantile Gambino’s disturbing take a look at race relations, “That is America,” received report and tune of the yr on Sunday’s telecast. It was the primary time a rap-based tune received each of these awards, thought-about — with album of the yr — the recording business’s most prestigious.

Kacey Musgraves received prime album and matched Infantile Gambino with 4 Grammys whole. A yr after many ladies felt ignored of the Grammy telecast, they delivered the night time’s most memorable performances. The very best new artist winner, British singer Dua Lipa, additionally solid main shade on the outgoing recording academy president.

Woman Gaga and Brandi Carlile received three Grammys apiece, and former First Woman Michelle Obama was a shock visitor on the prime of the present on CBS.

Infantile Gambino, the stage title of actor Donald Glover, and one other distinguished rap nominee, Kendrick Lamar, each declined invites to carry out or attend Sunday’s present. Some rap artists really feel the Grammys have been gradual to acknowledge how the style now dominates common music.

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Ludwig Goransson, a songwriter and producer on “That is America,” mentioned backstage that he was shocked the victories have been so historic. Simply listening to the radio, watching the tradition and seeing what number of rap songs are downloaded is proof of rap’s impression.

“It’s about time one thing like this occurred with the Grammys as effectively,” Goransson mentioned.

Cardi B turned the primary solo feminine to win greatest rap album , though Lauryn Hill was the lead singer of the Fugees, which received the identical award on the 1997 Grammys. Cardi B was so nervous accepting the award that she joked, “Perhaps I want to begin smoking weed.”

She appeared something however rattled earlier, when her rendition of “Cash” was among the many night time’s efficiency highlights. Janelle Monae delivered a smoking model of her hit “Make Me Really feel”; St. Vincent and Dua Lipa’s duet on “Masseduction” was steamy; H.E.R. turned heads with “Laborious Place”; and Carlile sang an impressed model of her hit “The Joke.”

Being a part of an enormous night time for ladies was large to her, Carlile mentioned backstage after the present.

“I’m a child from the ’90s and Lilith Truthful, you understand, and people girls have been simply dominating these platforms,” she mentioned. “They have been dominating these enviornment and amphitheater levels. They have been getting report offers. They have been changing into report executives themselves. They fully managed the airwaves. They have been on the radio. And to observe that backslide for the final 20 years has been heartbreaking. Tonight, it offers me hope as a mom of two younger daughters.”

When she accepted her greatest new artist award, Dua Lipa pointedly mentioned, “I assume this yr we actually stepped up.”

That was a reference to outgoing Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow, who mentioned girls wanted to “step up” when he was requested in regards to the lack of ladies in prime classes in 2018. He later acknowledged it was a poor selection of phrases and delivered one other mea culpa on Sunday’s present.

But Dua Lipa was rewarded by having her acceptance speech reduce off mid-sentence. She wasn’t alone, nonetheless, as a handful of different artists have been additionally hustled off the stage, and the present appeared disjointed on the finish, speeding by its closing awards. Beneath the circumstances, having a prolonged tribute to Portnow earlier than he gave his personal speech appeared tone-deaf.

Lipa mentioned later she would have thanked her followers, her inspirations and staff if she had extra time.

When she was onstage, Lipa was one in every of a handful of winners who paid particular tribute to fellow artists. One other was Drake, whose look to simply accept the Grammy when “God’s Plan” received greatest rap tune was a shock as a result of he’s not huge on award exhibits.

He reminded followers and fellow artists that awards are primarily based on the subjective views of others, and aren’t contests through which there are clear winners and losers.

“You’ve already received when you have people who find themselves singing your songs phrase for phrase, if you happen to’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are individuals who have common jobs who’re popping out within the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned cash to purchase tickets to return to your exhibits, you don’t want this proper right here. I promise you. You already received,” he mentioned on the Staples Middle in Los Angeles.

Musgrave picked up album of the yr for “Golden Hour,” which is labeled nation however had wider enchantment.

“I by no means dreamed that this report can be met with such love, such heat, such positivity,” mentioned Musgraves, who carried out a stately model of her tune “Rainbow.”

Dolly Parton starred in the perfect of the night time’s two tributes to veteran artists, performing a medley of her songs with Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Maren Morris. The spotlight of Diana Ross’ night time was the lovable introduction by a grandson with a mountain of hair.

The Grammys took some on-line blowback by having Jennifer Lopez ship a tribute to Motown , as soon as the nation’s preeminent label for black artists. Regardless of her hustle, Lopez was outshone by present host Alicia Keys and Smokey Robinson delivering one verse of “Tracks of My Tears” a capella.

Obama appeared on the present’s opening with Keys, Gaga, Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith to explain the position music had performed of their lives — seemingly a pointed reference to final yr’s controversy over girls artists.

“Music has all the time helped me inform my story,” Obama mentioned. “Whether or not we like nation or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It permits us to listen to each other.”

One other ex-White Home resident was awarded a Grammy on Sunday. Former President Jimmy Carter, who’s 94, received an award for greatest spoken phrase recording.

It’s his second Grammy.


Related Press writers Mesfin Fekadu, Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Jonathan Landrum and Beth Harris contributed to this report.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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